What happens when you combine beer and gin? It shouldn’t surprise you that Belgians came up with the idea since it is the country with the most beers and through their genever harbours the origin of gin itself. Lindemans, famous Belgian family brewery, producing Belgian cherry beer since 1822 and De Moor, famous Belgian family distillery, producing genevers since the early 1900s, put their passion together and created the first cherry beer gin.
The gin is made by distilling Old Lindemans Cherrybeer Cuvée René together with 15 carefully selected botanicals. It is a very small batch (250l) en bottled by hand. The Lindemans Gin comes in two versions: a clear one and a red one.
The clear one is citrusy with a hint of cardamom and an aftertaste of sour cherries. In my opinion it is balanced out brilliantly (a trademark from De Moor). Not sweet, not too fruity or floral, but everything’s there. When tonic is added the cherry flavour grows more intense and pairs well with the bitter tonic. I assume it would do well in Gin Fizz too.
The red variety is made in the same fashion except for the addition of the juice of sour cherries (whence the colour). The difference in taste is more cherry flavour obviously. Pairs well with tonic too. Another combination that worked out very well for me was red vermouth. Just 2 parts gin and 1 part red vermouth served over ice with an orange zest. Very tasty and easy to make.
If you’re a fan of Belgian beers and gin you should definitely give it a try, it is extremely refreshing when the temperatures get tropical.